Thursday, October 16, 2008


There are a number of phrases and expressions which seem to be used rather more frequently than their meaning or usefulness would require. In fact there are thousands, and lots of people complain about it very vehemently. Others keep lists of extraordinary length, mostly repeating each other and contributing little to the discussion. The list I offer here is short, does not, I hope, contain any chestnuts, and is confined to expressions I have seen recently and repeatedly used to hide the fact that the writer doesn't know exactly what he means or can't be bothered to think about it more fully.

Tipping point

Tinkering at the margins

Slippery slope

Perfect storm

Chilling effect

Double whammy


Wiggle room

Credit crunch

(term of art)



(least worst)

(singing from the same hymn sheet)

Any remarks on this list would be very welcome. I'm afraid I haven't kept the original contexts.

No comments: